Sunday, September 6, 2009

Inspired by Cerebus Again (After Nearly 30 Years)

Waaaaay back in the January 1983 issue of the short-lived Comics Scene magazine, there is a letter by yours truly printed on page 6 in which I mention the independent comic book Cerebus. I had begun reading Cerebus because of an article in Comics Scene, and I would read the comic off-and-on for years. In fact, after I'd stopped following it, I began to read it again after another article about Cerebus (and its creator, Dave Sim) in an issue of the reborn Comics Scene in 1987.

Comics Scene was reborn yet again in the early part of this decade, but it only last three issues and I don't recall an article about Cerebus in it. But last week I picked up the first three copies of Cerebus Archive during a visit to a downtown San Francisco comics shop, and I've enjoyed seeing Sim dig up his material from the mid-1970s. (So far, it's all been pre-Cerebus stuff; the "archive" really refers to Sim's career, not -- yet, at least -- to the famed misanthropic sword-carrying aardvark.)

Granted, unless you have a high tolerance for reprinted rejection letters Sim received from Charleton Comics, Playgirl, Warren, and other publishers, you might not be too interested in this archive. But there are plenty of other treats in the publication, including lots of correspondence from Gene Day, Sim's friend, supporter and collaborator, who appears to have been a wonderful soul but a terrible typist. Through it all, you get a nice glimpse into the bootstrapping world of independent aspiring comics creators.

Now here comes this development. There's going to be an announcement about Cerebus TV -- details at CerebusTV, appropriately enough. What's Cerebus TV? Haven't a clue.
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